• synonyms


[jib]Chiefly British
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verb (used without object), jibbed, jib·bing.
  1. to move restively sidewise or backward instead of forward, as an animal in harness; balk.
  2. to balk at doing something; defer action; procrastinate.
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  1. a horse or other animal that jibs.
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Origin of jib3

First recorded in 1805–15; perhaps special use of jib2
Related formsjib·ber, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for jibber

Historical Examples

  • Equally bad is the horse with no mouth at all, for he is often a rearer or a jibber.

    Riding and Driving for Women

    Belle Beach

  • One of them was riding a ‘jibber,’ and in order to get the animal along had tied it to that of his comrade.

  • Yes, I shall sit on your shoulder at night and jibber into your ear so that you cannot sleep, until you die.

British Dictionary definitions for jibber


  1. nautical any triangular sail set forward of the foremast of a vessel
  2. cut of someone's jib someone's manner, behaviour, style, etc
  3. obsolete
    1. the lower lip, usually when it protrudes forwards in a grimace
    2. the face or nose
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Word Origin

C17: of unknown origin


verb jibs, jibbing or jibbed (intr) mainly British
  1. (often foll by at) to be reluctant (to); hold back (from); balk (at)
  2. (of an animal) to stop short and refuse to go forwardsthe horse jibbed at the jump
  3. nautical variant of gybe
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Derived Formsjibber, noun

Word Origin

C19: of unknown origin


  1. the projecting arm of a crane or the boom of a derrick, esp one that is pivoted to enable it to be raised or lowered
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Word Origin

C18: probably based on gibbet


  1. (often plural) South Wales dialect a contortion of the face; a facestop making jibs
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Word Origin

special use of jib 1 (in the sense: lower lip, face)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for jibber



"foresail of a ship," 1660s, gibb, of uncertain origin, perhaps related to gibbet, from notion of a sail "hanging" from a masthead [Barnhart, OED]. Or perhaps from jib (v.) "shift a sail or boom" (1690s), from Dutch gijben, apparently related to gijk "boom or spar of a sailing ship." Said to indicate a ship's character to an observant sailor as a strange vessel approaches at sea; also nautical slang for "face," hence cut of (one's) jib "personal appearance" (1821).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with jibber


see cut of one's jib

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.